07.29.11

Florida International University Finds A Curious Way To Take The Heat Off Isiah Thomas

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Racism Corner, Sports Radio at 1:10 pm by

While The Post’s Bart Hubbach makes great sport out of Bill Belichick’s penchant for taking on reclaimation projects, the same could be said of Florida International A.D. Pete Garcia.  Two seasons after tapping disgraced Knicks coach/exec Isiah Thomas to coach his men’s basketball program, Garcia earlier this week hired former CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez, who lost his job in Atlanta last year after publicly bitching about a Jewish Media Cabal. Pointing out that Sanchez, “has a tight relationship with school president Mark Rosenberg, who is Jewish,” the Miami Herald’s David J. Neal gives the former ample rope with which to describe his appointment as the new color man for FIU football.

“I played college football. I love football,” Sanchez laughed. “That part of it is exciting. We all tend to think we could do play-by-play better than the next guy. I don’t need to chase the next anchor job.”

Or, if you didn’t know that Sanchez, Cuban-born and Hialeah-raised, brags of how much FIU’s enrollment and FIU’s team displays South Florida’s ethnic diversity all the way up to Cuban-American head coach Mario Cristobal. Or, if you didn’t know that FIU athletic director Pete Garcia has known Sanchez since they were at Mae M. Walters Elementary School, through Filer Junior High and to Hialeah High.

Sanchez rose to stardom as a Channel 7 news anchor in South Florida’s bullet-heavy 1980s and establish himself as South Florida’s most polarizing news personality as the station began to dominate the local news ratings. Starting in 2001, he went to MSNBC; returned to South Florida’s WTVJ-Channel 6; then to then-WBZL Channel 39; before going to CNN.

“I stand by what I said — generally, the news media, broadcast more so than print, has not given opportunities to people of color, particularly Latinos,” Sanchez said. “I don’t need money.  If anything, I’m looking for opportunities to empower others and myself so we’re not getting jobs, but creating jobs.”

07.28.11

Rasmus Might’ve Moved To Toronto, But His Dad Isn’t Finished Sparring WIth La Russa

Posted in Baseball at 9:43 pm by

Colby Rasmus’ tumultuous stay in the Cardinals organization came to end Tuesday as the outfielder went from Tony La Genius’ doghouse to the Blue Jays outfield as part of an 8-player trade. Prior to said transaction, the St. Louis manager characterized Rasmus as unwilling to follow the coaching staff’s instructions, a charge pissed papa Tony Rasmus considers a not-so-veiled shot at himself. “There are three or four guys in the St. Louis clubhouse right now, thinking ‘oh-oh, who is the manager going to pick on next with Colby gone?’” the elder Rasmus, coach of the Russell County High School Warriors (AL) told the Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliot.

In June of 2010 the father visited his son in St. Louis and worked on hitting: “We didn’t do anything serious. Colby told Tony about it. After last June that was the end of that,” said Tony Rasmus, who said four weeks ago the Cards and Colby were involved in talks on a four-year deal.

“Evidently La Russa (above) has absolutely made that stuff up. He’s got it on the brain. If I was working with my son I’d tell people.

“Tony needed pitching and wanted to force the GM into making a trade, so he belittled Colby to the fans.”

“I’m not flying to Toronto to begin working on his hitting, we weren’t having a video conference every night,” Tony Rasmus said. “The last time I spoke to Colby about hitting, he was telling me what he and (hitting coach) Mike Aldrete had been working on, La Russa has it on the brain that I’m working with him. It’s not true.

“Put a kid on the field, if he’s not good enough to play, put his ass on the bench, never mind all this other stuff.”

The Public’s Big Chance To Kick Jack Oblivian & Harlan T. Bobo Out Of The Country

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 9:13 pm by

OK, they’re allowed back in. Either way, this is a far better use of Kickstarter than chronicling why there’s a direct line from ‘Damaged’ to The Darling Buds.

Hideki Irabu, RIP

Posted in Baseball at 4:51 pm by

(above : a sickening character who milked his association with the New York Yankees for all it was worth.  And on the left, the late Hideki Irabu)

Hideki Irabu, a two-time World Series winner with the Yankees, and an outstanding starter for 9 seasons with Chiba Lotte Marines, was found dead today in Rancho Palas Verdes, CA.  Irabu, last seen in this space attempting a comeback with the Long Beach Armada of the now defunct Golden League, never managed to live up to the gargantuan expectations of Yankee ownership or fans after signing a 4-year, $12.8 deal in 1997.  Said pact came after San Diego purchased Irabu’s Japanese contract, but were forced to deal the right-hander to New York when he refused to sign with the Padres.

Rightly or wrongly, Irabu will probably be best remembered by American sports fans as the subject of ridicule, by characters real and ficitious.

07.27.11

DeCock : UNC Waited Too Long (To Fire A Guy That Deserved It)

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 7:22 pm by

Of University Of North Carolina head football coach Butch Davis (above, left) “accepting full responsibility” for his program’s laundry list of violations, The News & Observer’s Luke DeCock opined, “when an oil tanker runs aground, they don’t put the captain in charge of the cleanup.”  Yet that’s exactly what school President Holden Thorp did by allowing Davis to remain employed after a scandal-plagued 2010 campaign, with said tenure ending, curiously enough, earlier today.   And it’s the wait that has DeCock crowing, loudly.

Thorp and the trustees put the players on North Carolina’s football team who didn’t do a thing wrong — the vast majority of the players on this year’s roster — in an almost impossible position going forward. A coaching change a week before the start of training camp is about as big a negative as you can slap onto a team’s season. It’s an uphill climb for the Tar Heels now, a season in purgatory, and there are a lot of innocent players who already saw last season diminished by the misdeeds of their teammates.

Thorp has had ample reason to cut Davis loose for almost a year, ever since that awkward night he apologized to fans because the investigation had uncovered possible academic fraud and, oh by the way, the tutor we would soon know as the mysterious Jennifer Wiley just happened to have worked in the Davis household. Even the day last month when the NCAA finally got around to handing down its Notice of Allegations would have been a better day.

The timing of Davis’ firing is as baffling as the long delay in getting to this point in the first place.

Rob Neyer To Lynch Mob : Lay Off Meals, What About Clint Hurdle’s Incompetence?

Posted in Baseball at 2:21 pm by

Perhaps mistaking Atlanta for Detroit and attempting to heed Jalen Rose’s advice that nothing’s open after 2am except hospitals and legs, umpire Jerry Meals ended last night’s Pirates/Braves, 19-inning marathon by calling Julio Lugo safe at home despite being gunned down by Pedro Alvarez by a good 10 feet.  At least one observer has dubbed Meals’ failure to recognize a sweeping tag by Pittsburgh backstop Mike McKenry, “a new worst call ever”, but professional skeptic Rob Neyer of SB Nation asks, “isn’t it possible that umpire Meals saw something the rest of us didn’t?”

It might not be likely, but it’s possible that Jerry Meals (above)  saw something, something real, that none of the cameras were able to see. If there was an eighth of an inch between Michael McKenry’s mitt and Julio Lugo’s pants, would the cameras have caught that gap? Not from what I’ve been able to tell; none of the cameras were placed in just the right place to see that gap, if there was one.

Yeah, I know Lugo behaved as if he were out. Players do that all the time. Sometimes they just don’t know. Sometimes they assume they’re out because the throw beat them by 10 feet. Usually they’re right. Not always.

You can blame Jerry Meals for the Pirates’ loss, and I suppose there’s a pretty good chance he deserves it. But what about Clint Hurdle, who lost a 19-inning game and never used his best relief pitcher, instead asking another of his relief pitchers to throw more than 90 pitches? What about McKenry, who employed the swipe tag when he could have planted his glove squarely on just about any part of Lugo’s person?

A Great Day In Jon Miller Elocution History? – Giants Win The Beltran Sweepstakes

Posted in Baseball at 1:35 pm by

(above : Beltran’s loving farewell to Jay Horowitz, who might be able to eat solid food again in a few weeks)

Multiple Tweeters of considerable prominence are reporting the San Francisco Giants’ acquisition of Mets RF Carlos Beltran is nearly complete, with outfielder Gary Brown and /or pitcher Zach Wheeler (maybe) heading to Flushing, pending Beltran waiving his no trade clause.  Though it’s not the happiest end to the 6-time All-Star’s tenure in New York, that Sandy Alderson received anyone of substance in return for a two-month rental is slight consolation after ownership have waved the white flag on the 2011 season for the 3rd or 4th time since Spring.  More comforting from a Met perspective is whatever solace can be found in not having to watch Beltran performing postseason heroics in a Braves or Phillies uniform. G’bye and good luck, Carlos.  Thanks for the (mostly) pleasant memories, and if anyone from the Giants front office mentions something about visiting a veteran’s hospital, make absolutely certain you’re there several hours early (and maybe send out a press release criticizing whatever Brian Wilson wore that day.)

(UPDATE : The New York Daily News’ Andy Martino reports the swap is Beltran + cash for Wheeler)